Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument


There are many trails on the east side of Mount St. Helens, leading hikers into the heart of the blast area. They provide outstanding views of the new lava dome. The south side of Mount St. Helens provides outstanding opportunities to discover the ancient lava flows and recent mudflows that scoured down the slopes of Mount St. Helens. Trails on the west side of Mount St. Helens are few but what is lacking in number is made up with unparalleled views of this volcanic landscape. Trails, campgrounds, and old growth forests can all be found just north of the National Volcanic Monument in the Randle Ranger District. These areas relatively unaffected by the volcano offer a sharp contrast to the blast area just a few miles to the south. And there are a number of trails which skirt the perimeter of the Mount St. Helens Volcano. A climbing permit is required for these trails. To ensure a quality hiking experience and your safety, wear sturdy shoes, bring sunscreen, and carry one quart or more of water per person.

Mount St. Helens Trail Hiking Guide

Easiest: Level to gently rolling grades less than 20%. Trail treads 18-24" wide. Easy hiking, suitable for children or individuals seeking a leisure walk.
More Difficult:
Moderate grades up to 30%. Trails treads 12-18" wide, depending upon level of use. Vigorous hiking for individuals of normal physical condition.
Most Difficult: Steep grades, narrow tread widths, low levels of maintenance. May require stepping over logs or traversing steep cliffs or stream fords. Trails may be difficult to locate or follow. Suitable for experienced hikers in good physical condition. Expect a challenging experience.

Choose a Hiking Region to Explore:
Hiking to the East of Mt. St. Helens
Hiking to the South of Mt. St. Helens
Hiking to the West of Mt. St. Helens
Hiking to the North of Mt. St. Helens
Hiking around the central perimeter of Mt. St. Helens

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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